We heard an amazing story last year when we were visiting the Ananda Community in Assisi. A friend of ours, with whom we were staying, told us that she had a beloved dog who had recently passed away at the age of fifteen. Her heart was still grieving for the loss of her dear friend and companion.

One rainy night while we were there, we heard a whining and scratching outside their house by the compost pile. When our friend went out with a flashlight to see what was happening, she saw a starving, injured little dog who had gotten caught on the wire fence. Approaching him to help, she startled the abandoned creature, and he tore himself loose and ran away toward the road.

Our friend got into her car hoping, even though the night was dark and rainy, to find the poor puppy. Eventually she spotted him, and pulled over to the side of the road, but with each step she took toward him, he backed farther away. Finally, in desperation, she prayed to her beloved dog who had passed away, “Please let this little one trust me.”

Almost miraculously, the little fellow immediately turned and ran to her. Looking at her with beseeching eyes, he allowed her to pick him up and take him home.

When they got to the house, she fed him with dog food left over from her former pet. She was amazed to see that he ate three times the normal amount. From then on, he refused to leave her sight. A year later when we returned, we saw a plump, energetic, happy little beagle with a sleek coat. He was entirely devoted to our friend who had showered him with food, good care, and love.

How mysterious are God’s ways! Praying to a dog for help?

Love is more than a mere human feeling. As the great saints tell us, God’s love is the very fabric from which all creation is made. In one of Swami Kriyananda’s beautiful songs, “What Is Love?,” he says:

What is love? Is it only ours?
Or does love whisper in the flowers?
     Surely we, children of this world,
Could not love by our own powers.

Many years ago before I came to Ananda and took up Master’s path, I had an interesting experience which took me some time to fully understand. It happened during my last semester of college, when I had just begun reading Autobiography of a Yogi. One sunny spring afternoon, I was sitting on a couch in the living room in the apartment I shared with several friends. No one else was at home, so the place was quiet and still.

As I gazed out the window at the sunlight on the trees, I fell into a sort of reverie. I started thinking how fortunate I had been to be surrounded by a loving family and friends. I began to visualize each one of them—parents, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles, teachers, and good friends—and feel the love that they had given me.

As the image of each person faded into the next, my awareness became increasingly expanded and still, until all I could feel was that I was bathed in light and love. As I said, it took me time to understand that it had been God loving me through all of those forms.

In a wonderful letter from Swami Kriyananda to a devotee, he wrote: “If we feel God’s love in someone’s love for us, then that is right and good. I remember once in India telling the woman saint, Ananda Moyi Ma, how much I and others in America loved her. Her reply was, ‘There is no love except God’s love.’ . . . Ultimately, the only important thing you can do in life is love God. The only fact that truly matters in life is that God loves you. . . . The solution to our worries is love, and more love—divine love, not egoic love. . . . As the Bible says, ‘Perfect love casteth out fear.’”

In the face of a world in turmoil, let’s remember that God’s love for us—in fact, simply God’s love—is the only important thing, the only reality. Whether it’s expressed through the love of another person, through a pet, or through a challenging situation, look behind the surface, and see God’s love. Let it saturate your heart, and then share it with everyone.

So where do we find love? If we have eyes to see, everywhere.

Towards the One in all,

Nayaswami Devi